April 16, 2014

Measurement Tools might improve the quality of work, but not necessarily its enjoyment

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I am starting to think that performance boards don’t really help to drive improvement and, if they do, they don’t really change behaviors. Frankly, I don’ t think there’s a tool anywhere in existence that can do that.
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Lean for Life – Value, Overproduction Waste and the Triple Constraint Model at Work

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So often we read in management or personal development books that we should look to exceed expectations or to go ‘above and beyond’ for our bosses or customer. But do our customers truly value all the ‘extra’ that you’ve provided if you’re no longer delivering exactly what they asked for? [Read more]

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Thinking about value: Who’s your most important person?

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Let’s say that an organization is not measured by the ability of those who are in positions of power to control subordinates, but by the value that the organization transfers to its customers. In this sense, order and control are necessary, but they are not sufficient, for a high-performing organization. Also, if seen this way, the management ranks exist only to initiate the transfer of value – they do not create it and they certainly don’t place it in the customer’s hands. [Read more]

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The Cart Wrangler Blues

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Everyone likes to show off their ability to put their backs into it and come out a winner. In the end, it’s all about “Look at me! I am tough, and I can take it.”

But why do you want to?

Any number of organizations have figured out that no one should have to, or want to. From Toyota and its fabled Production System to Best Buy and the Results-Only Work Environment (ROWE), there are places that have realized that overcoming the “Look what I can do!” aspects of human nature. [Read more]

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Lean principles for knowledge workers (and everyone else)

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There is an article on the Harvard Business Review entitled “Lean Knowledge Work” by Bradley R. Staats and David M. Upton. I think it is one of the more important pieces examining the applicability of Lean concepts to areas other than manufacturing.

The article, in my mind, focuses on the reasons why organizations who commit to Lean end up succeeding. That is, they begin to understand that addressing the mura (unevenness of operations) and muri (overburdening of people and resources) in the workplace as the root cause of muda (waste and inefficiency). [Read more]

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6 Quick Lean Leadership Lessons

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TweetToday’s manufacturing plants are busy places.  While the factory has always been home to long hours and hard work, it certainly seems like the pressure has been turned up a notch or two over the years.  The Lean Manufacturing journey can and will improve your operation yet time is still a factor.  Training and development [...]

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Article Review: Supply Chain at the C-level

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Tweet  Michael Koplov over at softwareadvice.com contacted me last week to write a review of his article, Consumer-Driven Technology Creates the Need for a C-Level Supply Chain Focus. The article focuses on the ascension of Tim Cook to the CEO position at Apple, following Steve Jobs’ decision to step down from the position due to [...]

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Stacking firewood, and learning about learning

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It’s late September, and that means it’s time to order up some firewood and begin stacking it for when the cold weather hits. This weekend, I had my wood delivered, and my father happened to be in town as well. He pitched in and helped me stack up my wood into a corral I had built last year, and we got the job done fairly quickly. It was interesting to watch his approach, as he was reluctant to begin since he had never stacked wood before. [Read more]

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Routinize the dull stuff

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Being a great business is about getting the processes right NOT technology.

If you have been following along with my blog for any length of time, you are familiar with my mantra of people, process then (maybe) technology. For small to medium enterprises, what your investment in technology does is standardize or automate to improve your business processes. [Read more]

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The recipe: From Estimating to Planning

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Estimating is just one step along the way towards designing an executable project. The next thing that is necessary is a plan – and estimating is a quite different exercise from planning. A plan takes into account not just what needs to be done when, but how things move throughout the project, who moves them, when it will happen, what that movement enables or restricts, and an identification of what might change over the course of the project. [Read more]

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